Matador Records · June 8, 2018
At some times quiet, and other times brash and emotional, this record succeeds in encapsulating teenage anxieties in a simple and fresh way.
One show turned into an EP release in 2016, which turned into a SXSW appearance this past March, all leading up to the release of Snail Mail’s first full-length Lush, released June 8th on Matador Records. At some times quiet, and other times brash and emotional, this record succeeds in encapsulating teenage anxieties in a simple and fresh way.
The record begins packing an emotional punch with the lead single ‘Pristine,’ a moody song which has Lindsey Jordan singing about not being able to let go of an ex-lover. Jordan sings straightforwardly on this song, as she does on the rest of the record, and does an amazing job of letting her emotions define the centrality of the record. During the bridge of ‘Pristine,’ Jordan seems to be interrogating this ex-lover of hers, asking, “Be honest with me / Who do you change for / Who’s top of your world?” She then reaches a breakthrough in her feelings as she shouts near the end of the song over a soaring instrumental, “We can be anything / even apart / Out of everything / It doesn’t have to be this hard.”
In addition to possessing stellar songwriting abilities, Jordan is also a prolific guitar player, and this skill is evident through the powerful chord riffs in songs like ‘Pristine’ and ‘Full Control’ to complex, classical guitar licks in quieter songs like ‘Speaker Terms,’ ‘Heatwave,’ and ‘Let’s Find an Out.’ Jordan’s musical talents are so refined and professional that it’s hard to believe that these skills are coming from a 17-year-old on her first record.
Despite having a mature skillset, what makes Lush stand out as a record is its ability to awaken a youthful desire for love in all of us that listen. One of the standouts of the record, ‘Let’s Find an Out,’ encapsulates this in a short, but achingly gorgeous two minutes. The song starts with a crystal-clear guitar and bass line, with Jordan’s voice entering later, her voice sighing as she sings about restarting a fading relationship. “Let’s find an out,” she sings in the second verse, “We’ll start anew / With the headlights in your eyes / I see it all over you”. The words are simple yet speak to the core of what she wants in love with pure elegance.
Overall, Lush is a gorgeous debut from an young indie rocker who will hopefully continue to release even more music that grows and matures as she does the same.